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  • Conditions for credible, transparent and inclusive elections are not met 
  • All parties should agree on a viable electoral calendar  
  • Urgent to stop the deterioration of human rights, democracy and rule of law 

The Venezuelan presidential elections should be suspended until conditions for credible, transparent and inclusive elections are met, say MEPs.

MEPs call for the immediate suspension of the early presidential elections in Venezuela scheduled to be held on 20 May 2018, in a resolution approved on Thursday by 492 votes to 87, with 77 abstentions.

 

The EU will only recognise elections based on a viable electoral calendar, agreed in the context of a national dialogue with all relevant actors and political parties, and respecting equal, fair and transparent conditions of participation, MEPs recall.

 

They underline that the exclusion by the Venezuelan Supreme Court of the Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD), a coalition of opposition parties, from the presidential elections, "represents a serious breach of the principle of equitable elections, prohibiting opposition candidates from competing freely and on equal terms in the elections".

 

As the recent developments in Venezuela are causing the human rights situation, democracy and the rule of law to deteriorate and become ever more polarised, the European Parliament stresses that a legitimate government resulting from fair elections must urgently address the current economic and social crisis in Venezuela and work towards national reconciliation.

 

Background

 

In February 2018, MEPs called for EU sanctions to be extended to President Maduro and military leaders, and warned that Venezuelan presidential elections will be recognised only if voting rules are first agreed with the opposition.

 

Traditionally, presidential elections are held in Venezuela in December, but in February the National Electoral Council (CNE) announced they would be brought forward to 22 April.